Ateneo de Manila Political Science welcomes Corona conviction; calls on defense to respect decision

The Ateneo de Manila Department of Political Science welcomes the Senate’s vote convicting Renato C. Corona for betraying public trust. The recently concluded impeachment trial was not only a victory for truth and accountability; it was also an effective exercise in strengthening our democratic institutions. While we regret procedural inadequacies during the trial process, we affirm that the Senate’s decision reflects the will of the people. This is not the first time the public has witnessed an impeachment trial, but it is only now that the process has been allowed to run its full course and reach a conclusion. The trial demonstrates the rule of law at work, proving that constitutionally- prescribed procedures and processes, which may at times frustrate the search for justice, allow us to hold our leaders accountable. We are, however, apprehensive over pronouncements of the defense panel that it will appeal the conviction to the Supreme Court. Their threat needlessly brings the Philippines to the brink of a constitutional crisis. We appeal to the defense panel and the supporters of former Chief Justice Corona to recognize the authority of the people's elected fiscalizers and to safeguard the democratic gains achieved during the trial. The deepening of Philippine democracy requires the utmost respect for constitutional processes. May the impeachment trial be a reminder to government officials that the public's vigilance and demand for accountability, which we have witnessed in this process, remains a force to reckon with among those who wish to subvert our democratic institutions and perpetuate corruption in public office.

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